The manufacturing process begins with coconut harvesting. Manufacturers making coconut husk chips collect mature, dried coconut husks for processing. These husks create a more durable, sustainable material than the husks of green coconuts. Manufacturers soak the husks in water for several months. Once they’re softened, separating the coconut pith and fiber, or coconut coir, becomes easier. The husks are also cut into chips at this point.
Coconut chips are often washed with fresh water to lower their sodium levels. They’re then dried out in the sun to reduce their moisture content. Manufacturers then pack and store the well-dried coconut chips for several months to mature.
After maturing them, most manufacturers test their coconut bark chips. The testing process makes sure the chips have a relatively neutral pH level and optimum electrical conductivity. They’re then sifted to remove any fine dust and debris. Once they are pure, manufacturers package their coconut husk chips and ready them for sale.
BENEFITS OF COCONUT HUSK CHIPS:
Coconut husk chips provide the excellent structure and aeration that bark growing mediums provide while improving moisture retention. Unlike peat moss, coconut husk chips attract rather than repel water. They can actually hold up to 10 times their weight in water, so gardeners can water their plants less often. While they retain water well, they also deliver excellent drainage. This quality makes root rot and oversaturation unlikely. Coconut husk chips also retain their structure by resisting compaction. This makes them ideal for transplants that need space for healthy root development. Coconut bark chips are also rich in the nutrients plants need. They retain calcium and magnesium but slowly release potassium and nitrogen to aid plant growth. They’re also high in lignins, which encourage the growth of good bacteria. Thorough processing makes coconut husk chips naturally weed- and pathogen-free. Coconut husk chips also resist bacterial, fungal, and mold growth, which can threaten plants. Snails, slugs, moths, and other insects also aren’t attracted to coconut bark chips as they are to natural soil and some other growing solutions.
Coconut husk chips are also incredibly eco-friendly. Coconuts grow quickly, with one tree delivering new coconuts every couple of months. We already harvest coconuts for food and drink, so turning the husks into coconut husk chips is a smart way to make use of a waste product. In contrast, collecting some other growing materials such as peat moss damages the natural environment. Adding to their eco-friendly credentials, coconut bark chips last for three to four years. They’re incredibly durable and can be completely dried out, then wet again, unlike many growing materials that break down much faster. When they do reach the end of their life, coconut husk chips are also biodegradable. That means they won’t clog up landfills.
Coconut husk chips are a great alternative to bark, rockwool, and clay growing mediums, as they have a relatively neutral pH of between 5.2 and 6.8. They’re perfect for growing plants that thrive when their roots are moist but not saturated, such as orchids, succulents, kalanchoes, anthuriums, and bromeliads. These plants are also notoriously fussy about fertilizers. Nutrient-dense coconut chips can deliver what they need without upsetting them. Coconut bark chips are also a popular choice for terrarium substrate. A base of coconut husk chips absorbs moisture in tanks while being totally safe for reptiles and arachnids.
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